Business education an anchor in the storm

by Sophie Leung

Alan Bryman, professor of organisational and social research;
head of the School of Management
The University of Leicester
Photo: Johnny Kwok

In a recent graduation ceremony for master's degree students of Raffles International College, Alan Bryman, professor of organisational and social research and head of the School of Management at the University of Leicester, remarked on the significance of research-based business education in times of economic crisis: "Now more than ever we need proven fundamentals and new paragraphs in business principles."

Professor Bryman explained the principles essential to being a good business manager: "Be aware of pressure from different sides and balance competing expectations. In addition to the bottom line, we encourage our students to explore corporate obligations to employees and social responsibilities for long-term quality development." He added managers must be equipped to deal with changes and adapt to new circumstances.

The distance learning business programmes offered by the University of Leicester through Raffles International College not only help impart practical managerial skills, they also allow students to develop useful methods of organisational thought. Professor Bryman noted, "A truly all-rounded business manager should be able to systematically come up with solutions for complex problems. A well developed research-based business course can help facilitate this for aspiring managers."

Students taking the MBA programme are exposed to lessons that offer a balance between theory and practice. Besides learning about successful business strategies, they also analyse and discuss real life business cases. Meanwhile, they are required to conduct their own research under guidance so as to gain a full spectrum of experience and apply their knowledge in the best manner. The wide range of perspectives on offer benefits students, increasing their options when solving problems in a business environment.

Electronic learning channels, such as podcasts and online forums, have been adopted to enhance learning and communication among students who are also invited to join workshops that cover topics such as dissertation writing, and meet with tutors and other students through the college. "Once they graduate from the programmes, they become members of our growing alumni network and community of high-calibre business managers," added Professor Bryman.

Candidates looking to enrol in the fulltime or part-time distance learning MBA programme should be at least 25 years of age, holders of a recognised bachelor's degree, and possess a minimum of two years of management experience and a competent level of English language skills. The part-time programme takes 24 to 60 months to complete, depending on the student's learning pace.


Taken from Career Times 07 November 2008, p. B5
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